When I was invited to attend a ramen noodle making class at Torii Noodle Bar by Kanki in Raleigh for an event sponsored by Shop Local Raleigh, I will be the first to admit that I was a little nervous. I have never attempted to make any type of homemade noodle in my life.
Making homemade noodles has always sounded complicated. And for someone like me, it really was complicated, but quite a rewarding experience after I finished the class. I really felt as if I accomplished something, with a lot of help from the chef, of course.
Torii Noodle Bar, located in Crabtree Valley Mall, puts the spotlight on ramen noodles. There are hundreds of varieties of ramen across Japan. Torii is Japan's iconic noodle soup shop and we were told during that class that ramen, with its rich, deeply flavored broth, handmade noodles, and array of condiments is treated with the same reverence Southerners reserve for BBQ.
Ramen noodles have four basic ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water and kansui. What's kansui? Well, I still don't really know for sure, but it's the magic ingredient. Without it, you will not have ramen noodles.
Originally, kansui was named after the water from Inner Mongolia's Lake Kan, which contained large amounts of minerals. Kansui gives the yellowish color as well as the firm texture for the noodles.
During out class, we learned about three broth-based styles:
Shoyu: Soy sauced-based and the most common style.
Shio: The lightest ramen style, and made from a variety of dried seafood and seaweed.
Tonkotsu: A broth made from long-cooked pork bones.
We tasted saki, flattened our dough and cut our dough. This dough eventually got into the form of ramen noodles with a lot of labor. And let me emphasize a lot of labor.
The best part of the night is that the chef cooked our noodles and then we were ready to eat.
If you go to Torii Noodle Bar, you can just order your ramen noodles and you'll have it within minutes. The restaurant also specializes in other rice bowls, stir-fried noodles, bento boxes, and teppanyaki, but for our night we concentrated on ramen.
The best part of the night was decorating my entree then eating it.
The next ramen noodle making class for the general public will be in October. Space is limited. The cost is $35 per person.
I may not make ramen noodles again, but I will definitely visit Torii Noodle Bar in the future. I thought it was great. They also have a good kid's menu.
Want To Go:
Torii Noodle Bar by Kanki
4325 Glenwood Avenue